“The mind is like an iceberg. It floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” – Sigmund Freud.
Freud may have missed the mark on a variety of things, but I think he was onto something with this. How often do we think things, hope things, feel things, dream things, but without speaking them aloud or expressing them to others (and often ourselves) for fear of judgement, retribution, or changing the status quo?
One of the things I love most about being a therapist, is the knowledge that everyone who comes into my office is already ahead of the curve because it means they have made the decision to share things about themselves, often things they have never shared with anyone else, with a complete stranger. That is powerful…that is courageous. I admire that everyone I work with has already moved the most difficult barrier for me: making the decision to show up and share.
As a counseling student in graduate school, as part of one of my final courses, I had to attend counseling in a group setting. I loved that this was assigned because it opened my eyes to what I would be asking of everyone who eventually would come into my office and open themselves up. It’s a big ask.
So, once you have made the tough decision, that you have things going on in your life, head, and/or heart, that you could use some guidance, reflection, or a listening ear for, how do you choose a therapist? I’ll be the first to say, that I am not the therapeutic fit for everyone. Just as with any other relationship, it has to feel right. A therapeutic relationship is based in trust, just as any other relationship, and as is the human condition, you do not trust everyone.
Some tips for seeking that right fit:
- Research- I don’t mean sit down with heavy, huge textbooks and cross examine the counseling style or orientation of every therapist in the greater Little Rock area. I simply mean read profiles, feedback, blog posts, or websites and see if you feel a connection.
- Referrals- Here again, nothing clinical. Ask friends, relatives, or maybe even a trusted family doctor who they have seen before or where they may recommend. Also, keep in mind, it’s always a good idea to cross check with your insurance company to see which clinicians and organizations are in network.
- Go with your gut- If you know you need a female or male counselor, you’ve already narrowed your search. If someone within your religion is a must, enter that in the search bracket. If you need a counselor who is LGBTQ themselves or LGBTQ friendly, search for those or ask a friend. If you want a counselor is who is parent because you have lots of mom brain going on that needs sorted, look up counselors with kids.
The list goes on, but the bottom line is that, there is a counselor out there for everyone if and when they need one. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, counseling is confidential. For the most part, if it does not present imminent harm to you or someone else, it does not leave the room. Maybe something traumatic has happened and you do not feel comfortable enough to talk to those around you. Maybe you feel depressed, anxious, or alone and need guidance to move forward. Maybe you need someone to meet with periodically just to check in or to help hold you accountable for your goals, actions, etc. Perhaps you just need someone to talk to in order to clear your head.
If you feel that iceberg weighing heavier and need someone to talk to, I’d love to listen.